A case of measles has been confirmed in Meadville.
Meadville Medical Center said a case was identified in a patient on Tuesday in the emergency department.
There is no longer any risk of infection in the emergency department, the hospital said in a news release Friday. However, anyone who was in the vicinity of the emergency department and the nearby entrance between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday could be at risk of possible exposure.
“A patient who visited the medical center that morning has a confirmed case of measles, which can be highly contagious,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said. “Meadville Medical Center is in the process of notifying patients who may have been in that area of the building; however, if you have been properly immunized against measles, your risk of getting the disease is minimal."
Individuals who have received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination should be safe from exposure, the hospital said.
Symptoms of measles include fever, rash, cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes or tiny white spots inside the mouth.
The hospital said if an individual is experiencing those symptoms, they should contact their health care provider. Information also is available from the Pennsylvania Department of Health at (877) PA-HEALTH.
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), people at greatest risk of contracting measles are individuals who have not been vaccinated, children younger than 5 years of age, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
The United States is currently experiencing the highest number of reported measles cases since 1994. As of May 24, 940 cases of measles have been reported in 26 states.
The CDC states on its website that "this is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994, and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000."
While many people may associate measles with a rash, it is a contagious respiratory disease which can spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. The virus may remain airborne up to two hours in a room after the person with measles has left an indoor area, according to CDC. The rash may appear a few days after the initial symptoms of coughing, runny nose, red eyes and moderate fever. The rash starts on the face and spreads along with the fever increasing.
"A person with measles can spread the virus up to four days before the onset of the rash and until four days after the rash begins," the CDC states.
About 20 million people worldwide get measles each year, according to the CDC.